Thor © Marvel.
AN: This is what happens when Shadowblade starts thinking too much about a movie and decides to make it make sense. This takes place a few months after the end of the movie.
It was late, and Thor really should have been asleep, but nightmares had driven him from his bed and into the lowest chambers of the dungeons. No prisoners were kept down there, and not even the guards patrolled this deep. Thor wanted to be left alone. He didn't want to explain the tears on his face.
He was almost to the end of the hallway when he heard it. A faint cry cut through the still air. His blood chilled. He would always recognize that voice.
He wanted to run down the hall to the only open cell, but stopped himself. He had been seeing Loki everywhere these last few months, delusions born from grief and love. He wanted his brother back, more than words could express. So he cautiously made his way to the cell and listened, back pressed against the cold stone wall.
"You're dead now. Odin let you fall from the Bifrost."
That voice sounded like Loki, and yet it didn't. Thor felt his heart ache. Maybe he was still dreaming, and this was some twisted fantasy his own deranged mind concocted. He pushed off the wall to leave, but a second voice made him pause.
"Odin never thought much of me anyway."
Loki. It was Loki, exhausted and hurt and a tiny bit afraid. Thor risked peeking into the room. He had to see.
Two Lokis were in the room. One stood tall and regal, every inch a prince, and Thor couldn't see his face. The other was stripped to his waist and chained to the wall, head lowered and eyes hidden. Confused, Thor simply waited.
Prince Loki sneered. "They won't come looking for you. You'll rot down here forever, just like your precious Thor."
The change was immediate. Prisoner Loki's head snapped up, anger and hate blazing in emerald eyes.
"What did you do?"
Prince Loki snorted. "I did nothing. You sent the Destroyer to kill Thor. You lied and told him Odin was dead and he forever doomed to be an outcast. You – "
"What did you do to my brother!"
Thor's breath caught. My brother. The last time he spoke with Loki, he had refused to call him that. To hear him say it again, with such conviction, was almost enough to make him run into the room, but he refrained. He needed to know what was going on.
"Nothing." Prince Loki said. "He did it to you. He dropped you off the Bifrost."
Prisoner Loki started to laugh. "Thor's no fool. He'll find me, eventually. And when he does, we'll kill you together."
"Brave words from the traitor of Asgard."
"I am no traitor! You let the Jotuns in, you tried to kill Odin, not me!" The prisoner struggled against his chains. "Why would you do this, Lynn? I thought we were friends."
"We were friends, once." Prince Loki crouched before his prisoner, eyes alight with madness. "I told you to take advantage of the Odinsleep, to rule while you could. And all you could say was that you wanted Thor back." His lip curled in disgust. "You have no ambition. You're weak."
The pieces slid together for Thor. Lynn, the scrawny little boy Loki had taken a shine to as a child. The same boy he had taught his magick tricks to. The same boy he had once overheard telling Loki that he should be king, not Thor.
Prisoner Loki – the real Loki – jerked at his chains again. "I never wanted a throne!" he snarled. "I knew it wasn't mine from the start! I told you that!"
Lynn smirked and reached out, grabbing Loki's chin. "Then why did you even bring it up when you learned the truth about yourself?"
Loki's voice broke. "I don't even remember what I said. You can't hold that against me."
"I didn't just use it. I destroyed you with it. Even if, somehow, Thor and Odin were to find you down here, they will never trust you again." Lynn's smile was nothing short of sadistic. "Traitor."
Thor had heard enough. With quiet footsteps he walked into the cell, fists clenched. He managed to sneak right up behind Lynn.
The sorcerer wasn't even aware of his presence until Thor punched him in the back of the head. Then he wasn't aware of anything. Thor kicked him out of the way and feel to his knees before his brother.
"Loki!" He grabbed the smaller man's shoulder and hugged him as best as he could. Loki gasped, his eyes wide. Thor felt tears burn his eyes. "It's okay, brother. You're safe now." He pulled back and fumbled with the chains. "I'll get you out this, I swear – "
"Thor!" Loki's voice was small and thin. The strength Thor had heard when he spoke with Lynn was gone. "The chains contain the enchantment. Get Father, then release me."
"But – "
"Please. He won't believe me otherwise."
"I can't leave you!"
"You're not." Loki said softly. "You're getting help. Please. Help me clear my name."
Thor just stared at him for a moment. Then he tore off his cloak and wrapped it around Loki's shoulders. "I'll be back." he swore.
Thor paused long enough o pull his hammer from his belt and place it on Lynn's chest. Then he was gone, leaving Loki to huddle inside his cloak and wait.
Odin was already awake when Thor came barging into his chambers. His tearstained face had a light in it that Odin hadn't seen since Loki had fallen. "Son?"
"Come with me." Thor commanded. "Have Heimdall meet us."
"What is this about?"
"Just do it!"
By now Frigga was awake as well. Odin simply nodded and got dressed, Frigga following suit. Heimdall was quick to meet them outside of Odin's chambers. Quietly, the three of them followed Thor back down to the dungeons.
They paused just down the hall form Loki's cell. "What do you see, Heimdall?" Thor asked.
"Nothing." the gatekeeper replied. "All of these cells are hidden from me." Thor nodded and continued down the hall. They entered the cell, and Thor went straight to Loki. Frigga took one look at the figure chained to the wall and let out a soft cry.
Thor knelt and gently lifted Loki's chin. "I'm back."
The trickster chuckled and slowly opened his eyes. "What did you do – teleport?"
That earned him a grin. "I ran."
Odin interrupted them. "Will someone explain to me why there are two Lokis in this cell?"
Loki's gaze slid past Thor and locked onto Odin. "I have been here since a little after you fell asleep." he said quietly. "I went to confide in a friend, after I learned the truth about myself, and he betrayed me."
Odin gave him a hard look. "Which friend, Loki? Your friends are Thor's friends."
"Not Lynn." Loki said. "Lynn never cared much for Thor."
There was a brief pause. "Prove it."
Thor grabbed his hammer and, with one swift strike, shattered the chains that held Loki to the wall. The smaller man fell forward, and Thor grabbed him before he could hit the ground. With a small pop, the Loki lying on the ground changed and became smaller, with short, curly blond hair and a more filled-in face. Thor glared at him.
"That," he bit out, "is Lynn." He helped Loki to his feet. The younger took a shaky step forward, towards Odin.
"Father," he whispered, "Father, I'm sorry, I tried – "
Odin silenced him with a tight embrace. Frigga tried to hug him at the same time, and Thor simply stood there, still gripping Loki's wrist with enough force to bruise.
They stood there for a moment before Odin pulled away. "Let's get him cleaned up. There will be time to tell everyone the news tomorrow."
Loki found himself in Thor's room that night. His elder brother refused to let him sleep alone, and Thor's bed was big enough to accommodate two full grown men. Both had cleaned and were now in silk sleep clothes. Loki had been fed. They stretched out in the bed, the candles extinguished for the night.
And immediately Thor's hand found Loki's wrist. Loki smiled faintly. "I'm not going anywhere, brother."
"I know." For the first time since they were children, Thor's voice sounded shaky. "I have this fear that when I wake up, this will all have been a dream."
Loki nodded. "I know. I fear it too." He shifted, but he made no move to pull away. "What do you suppose will happen to Lynn?"
Thor's voice darkened. "With a little luck, Father will leave me alone with him for five minutes."
Loki grinned. "Are you going to play the big brother card again?"
"Yes. Because no one messes with my little brother and lives."
They fell asleep still talking, and when they woke, things had not changed, and together they breathed a sigh of relief.